IBM Awards Carnegie Mellon Faculty
IBM has its eye on some of Carnegie Mellon's most innovative professors. And Big Blue has rewarded them generously for their work. Eight faculty members at Carnegie Mellon have recently been recognized for their research and curriculum innovation work in the form of grants and award donations worth nearly $500,000.
Awards given to the nine faculty members include the IBM Faculty Award, the IBM Eclipse Innovation Award, and the Open Collaborative Faculty Award. IBM funds research projects worldwide either through competitions, in which individuals submit their proposals, or through a recommendation process that requires an IBM representative to nominate university faculty with whom they collaborate. Final decisions about the awards are determined by a committee comprised of IBM technical leaders and business executives.
"Carnegie Mellon and IBM have enjoyed a very strong relationship in the past," said Frank Stein, Manager of the Strategic Architects Team and Technical Program Office at IBM. Several Carnegie Mellon professors have fostered this relationship first hand. Open Collaborative Faculty Award winner, Francois Margot, professor at Carnegie Mellon’s David A. Tepper School of Business, collaborates with IBM researchers in the Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research (COIN-OR) Foundation. Besides his involvement in this open-source software project, Margot shares common research interests with several IBM researchers with whom he has co-authored papers in the past.
Stein says the intent for these awards is for IBM to build long-term collaborative relationships with faculty worldwide who are particularly focused on exploratory research and curriculum innovation. The company "seeks to support proposals that stimulate growth in disciplines and geographies that are strategic to IBM," says Stein, who adds that IBM "encourages work placed in the public domain for the benefit of the entire technical and business community." The company provides hundreds of awards annually and each is highly competitive, says Stein.
Lorrie Cranor, a research professor for the Institute for Software Research International (ISRI) at Carnegie Mellon, is collaborating with IBM to resolve online privacy and security issues and to offer the solutions through the public domain. Some of Cranor's work focuses on alleviating the frustration that comes from online privacy interfaces, such as SPAM filters. Too often these filters have "a cumbersome interface that confuses people," she says. "Whenever we have privacy and security related tasks, we're looking for ways to make it easier for people to do the task." To further her research, Cranor was awarded an Open Collaborative Award for $200,000.
The IBM faculty awards facilitate a meaningful partnership between Carnegie Mellon and industry, which helps generate more compelling and relevant research. "IBM hopes to continue and strengthen this relationship moving forward," said Stein, a sentiment shared by the university's faculty.
Other faculty members who received IBM awards in 2006 include: Christos Faloutsos, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE); Carlos Guestrin, Department of Computer Science (CS); James Hoe, ECE; Jennifer Mankoff, Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII); Jose Moura, ECE; Brad Myers, HCII; and Eric Nyberg, CS.
Robert Morris Named Partnership Executive, Visits Campus
Dr. Robert Morris, Vice President, Services Research, IBM Research IBM Global Services was recently appointed as the new IBM partnership executive with Carnegie Mellon. Upon filling this role, Dr. Morris visited campus in October 2006. He met with university administrators and several computer science professors to discuss current and future partnerships, such as new opportunities for graduate students of the new Engineering and Technology Innovation Management program to intern at IBM. Dr. Morris' other responsibilities at IBM include driving innovation for the Global Services arm, which comprises about half of the company. Dr. Morris is responsible for IBM's worldwide research efforts in services, spanning all eight worldwide laboratories.